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The 4 Ingredients for Hiring the Right Candidate

October 22nd, 2021 | 4 min. read

By Gia Rolen

If you replace sugar with salt in a recipe, your result isn't going to be a pleasing experience for your friends and family.

In the hustle and bustle of trying to make your dinner party perfect, you didn't read the recipe carefully and reached for the wrong thing. Now, you have to go back to the store, buy new ingredients, and start all over.

In the same way, hiring a bad employee is a recipe for disaster. It's a waste of your time, energy, and money.

Nearly three-in-four employers (74 percent) admit they’ve made the wrong hire for a position (reports a 2017 CareerBuilder survey).

Unfortunately, every employer is familiar with bad hires, turnover, and the frustration that comes with finding the right fit for your team - so you're not alone!

Over the years, our team at Whirks has fine-tuned our hiring practices from recruiting to interviewing, so we can continue to grow our incredible team and improve our culture.

We've come up with four practices for hiring the right candidate, so you can avoid wasting time, money, and energy on the wrong employee.

Why are bad hires bad for business?

You're familiar with what bad employees look like:

  • Chronically-late Larry: Comes without a watch and has an unlimited supply of excuses.
  • Bad-attitude Betty: Bringing down company morale with scowls and complaints.
  • Slacker Sam: Maintaining his enviable social media presence on your dime.
  • Gabby Gossip: Keeping up with everything in the office but her work.

These guys are usually a recipe for resentment for the rest of your team since you're scrambling to get their shifts covered and spending your own precious time micromanaging them.

Beyond being a source of stress and frustration, poor hires waste your money in the form of lost productivity, damaged reputation, and the costs of recruiting, hiring, and retraining a replacement.

CareerBuilder revealed that companies lost an average of $14,900 on every bad hire in the last year. With that money, you could reinvest in your business or reward your best performers.

It's better to do things right the first time around by taking your time and following these four best hiring practices.

1. Be a business people want to join.

In today’s candidate-driven market, you’re constantly evaluated against other potential employers. How can you make a great first impression so that potential hires want to work for you?

In our modern day and age, you’re recruiting 24/7 - whether you have an open position or not.

“People come for the brand, convert for the job, and stay for the culture,” says Tracey Parsons of SmashFly, a recruitment marketing provider.

One way to do this is by shaping your brand’s message via social media.

Without spending a dime, you can show potential hires who you are and why they want to work for you. If you have social media channels, a potential employee will look at them and form an immediate opinion about you.

Think through how you want to present yourself as a business on social platforms.

  • Show your involvement in your local community
  • Create "Behind the Scenes" reels or videos of your office
  • Throw fun competitions at work or share photos of company outings
  • Interview different employees and share fun facts about them

Nothing is more charming than inviting people into your story and showing them that you're human. Branding yourself as real encourages potential hires to apply and join a vibrant company.

2. Be specific.

Write clear job descriptions. Be upfront about your expectations for the position. Don't waste your time or a potential candidate's time by not being honest about the role's responsibilities.

You don't want to receive 100 irrelevant resumes. Accepting fewer resumes means that you will be attracting people who want to work for you and your company. It may take longer to hire someone, but it's more likely to be the right fit when you do.

This is also an opportunity for you to think about which benefits you want to offer as a company. Unlimited PTO? Flexible work schedule? Half-days on Fridays? Frequent company outings?

Invest energy in thinking about how you can make your employees' lives richer at work. People want to invest their time in a place that invests in them.

3. Pay for employee referrals.

Current employees are the best resource for finding new talent.

After all, your grandmother's trusty recipe box is probably more reliable and meaningful than digging up a recipe off the internet. It's consistent, and you know everyone enjoys it.

In the same way, relying on your current team to recruit people is an awesome way to find the right fit for the job. They're passionate about working for your business, and they also want to find people who will reflect well on their character.

Internal referral programs reduce hiring costs and time. Your employees can also be the catalyst for a passive candidate to join by giving them a gentle nudge and showing why they love working for you.

Your employee receives a bonus, and you receive a new hire delivered to your door. It's a win-win.

4. Fine-tune your interviews.

We've all experienced the irritation of waiting to hear back from an interview. If this process is sluggish, you risk frustrating a great applicant. Follow these steps to streamline your interviews so you can hire the right fit faster.

  1. Do implement an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to keep all of your potential hire's information in one place.
  2. Do stick with the same script for every candidate to compare responses and make an objective decision.
  3. Don't skip requesting references because you hit it off with the person's character. It's worth the extra time so that you can avoid an unpleasant surprise down the road.
  4. Don't just interview for skill. They must be qualified, but you can't train them on character and drive.
  5. Do get a second opinion from your team. Let others join the interview.
  6. Don't debate on hiring them for more than 30 minutes. If several members of your team are still unsure, listen to the team instinct and move forward. The hesitations often turn into red flags.

Thrive, don't just survive.

We know it is tough right now for businesses to find and hire the right candidates. Employers are stressed out trying to find good fits for their team while their current employees struggle to stay afloat.

Hiring the best people is a critical way your business can thrive, not just survive. If you're anxious to fill a role because your team is overworked, don't hire the first person that applies.

Hiring and training them will cost you and your team more time and frustration. Evaluating your business, your team's needs, and thinking through potential ways to showcase your culture can land you a qualified employee who is excited to work for you.

Want more help on fine-tuning your hiring process? Check out our article on Electronic Onboarding.